Pets are fluffy additions to our families. As such, they are loved greatly by their owners, which can be a sensitive thing if you run a pet business where pets are the customers.
Owners expect you to treat them accordingly but, as in any other business, there are risks and potential dangers you have to avoid if you want to stay successful and lawsuit-free.
Take a look below at the 7 main risks when pets are the customers.
1. Poor customer service
Let’s be clear – pets are your main responsibility and treating them with care and respect is hugely important.
However, pet owners are the real customers because they are the ones paying you. In that sense, you have to make sure you respect their wishes and requirements. Otherwise, they won’t be coming back.
So, listen to what they have to say, accept their suggestions, and be patient with them – happy customers are loyal customers.
2. Untrained staff
All of your employees must have comprehensive training on how to handle various types of animals coming to your place.
Otherwise, they won’t be able to give them proper care or they could even end up hurting them or themselves in the process.
Your staff needs to know how to handle aggressive animals and how to stay away from hazardous and potentially toxic materials.
They should also know how to safely dispose of waste so as not to spread any diseases.
3. Running a business without insurance
It’s very important to have reliable pet business insurance.
First of all, you and your staff need to be protected in case of an injury or damage to your property or premises.
Professional liability is also something to protect yourself from in this business because some owners could state you ill-advised them or didn’t give proper treatment to their pets.
Also, if your business includes the transport service of the pets, this is one more aspect to be covered with your insurance.
Lastly, your staff needs to be covered in case of lost wages or injuries – you never know what could happen.
4. Not having a lawyer
Hiring a lawyer is a smart thing to do even before you invest in your branding, marketing, and even web design.
Every business should have a website but it’s also important to get copyrights and make sure no one will steal your idea or design or even do that and sue YOU for the same thing.
Money spent on a lawyer is not wasted, even if you are never forced to use their services later on.
5. Low-quality products and technology
The products you will use for attending to pets’ needs need to be of high quality.
Also, if you don’t perform proper quality control of the products, you could end up harming the animal in some way.
That would probably lead to a liability claim by the owner, and, ultimately, serious harm to your brand’s reputation.
The same could happen with wearable devices for pets – they could lead to unexpected consequences if you’re not careful and can even harm the animal or even your staff or you.
6. Careless management of documentation
Pet business is like any other business – you need to have a clear contract between the customer, namely the pet owner, and yourself.
Before taking care of the pet, you first need to have the owner sign a contract.
The contract should include all your policies and the complete care that is about to be provided.
Only after the contract is understood and signed by the owner should you attend to the pet’s needs.
Also, you should develop a detailed risk management plan. You and your staff need to understand what are the risks of attending to each specific animal and task.
It’s the best way to ensure you will all be protected to the highest extent.
7. Not joining a credited organization
Your business needs credibility in order to gain the trust of your customers, especially in the beginning.
A simple way to get more credibility is to join a credited organization that deals with pets.
Every country has at least one or two organizations of this type, so make sure you are a member from the very beginning of your business.
When pets are your customers, it may seem like it’s more of a joy than a job.
However, it’s a job like any other because it comes with risks and consequences if you don’t have everything covered.
It’s important to have everybody’s rights protected – the animals, the owners, your staff, and your own.